The great majority of older individuals choose aging at home for a lifetime, rather than making a move to an assisted living facility or nursing home – around 90% of them, based upon research conducted by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of familiar surroundings, the independence to go wherever, whenever you wish, the freedom to prepare the meals you want when you would like them are all priceless commodities.
But while it sounds like the perfect plan for growing older, there are some real issues to be thought through as well:
- Will the older person be safe?
- How will the older person get around when driving, or even walking, is challenging?
- What happens if the older person gets sick or injured and no one’s near to help?
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever for aging adults to stay safe and well cared for at home. These tips can help you in taking the necessary steps to ensure your loved one is prepared for these needs and any others, now and in the future:
- Evaluate the home, both inside and out, from the perspective of the senior’s safety. Check to verify that:
- Grab bars are in place near the tub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and other fall hazards are removed.
- There’s plenty of lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
- Commonly used items are within easy reach.
- Emergency numbers are posted in a highly visible location.
- Create a transportation plan, so it is ready to put into action when driving is no longer possible:
- Explore public transportation choices that are available and easily accessible.
- Assemble a volunteer tree of trusted people the older person can call on for transportation when needed: friends, relatives, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, Dakota Home Care, etc.
- Ensure the older person is able to access the tech tools that can be used in an emergency to obtain help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The best way to ensure older adults stay safe and well cared for at home, however, is by engaging the services of a trusted home care agency, such as Dakota Home Care. Our caregivers are trained and have experience in providing personal care services, transportation, meal preparation, and companionship, and are here for you for as much or as little care as required.
We start with the development of an individualized care plan to address the older adult’s particular needs and wishes, and then we regularly monitor that plan and make adjustments as needs change – ensuring that the senior stays safe and will be able to live life to the fullest, where it’s most comfortable: right at home. If you need a caregiver in Fargo, ND, or in Mandan, Bismarck, or the surrounding areas, reach out to us at (877) 691-0015 to learn more.